Proverbs 11:17

17 When you're kind to others, you help yourself; when you're cruel to others, you hurt yourself.

Proverbs 11:17 Meaning and Commentary

Proverbs 11:17

The merciful man doeth good to his own soul
Or "to himself": a man of mercy or grace, a liberal bountiful man, he comfortably enjoys what God has given him, ( Ecclesiastes 5:18 ) ; and he does good to others with it, and thereby does good to himself also; as well as he is solicitous in a spiritual sense for the good and welfare of his immortal soul; but [he that is] cruel troubleth his own flesh;
a sordid avaricious man withholds from himself that which is meet, will not allow himself the necessaries of life, nor will he provide that which is fit and convenient for his family; he hides himself from his own flesh, and will not communicate to the wants of his nearest friends and relations, and shuts up his bowels of compassion against his own brother; all which may be called a troubling his own flesh; see ( Isaiah 58:7 ) . R. Levi Ben Gersom interprets this of such who place religion in afflicting and macerating the body by fasting, which the law does not require; and it may fitly be applied to the Papists, who do this by penances and fastings, and whippings and scourgings; and which the apostle calls a neglecting of the body, not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh, ( Colossians 2:23 ) .

Proverbs 11:17 In-Context

15 Whoever makes deals with strangers is sure to get burned; if you keep a cool head, you'll avoid rash bargains.
16 A woman of gentle grace gets respect, but men of rough violence grab for loot. A God-Shaped Life
17 When you're kind to others, you help yourself; when you're cruel to others, you hurt yourself.
18 Bad work gets paid with a bad check; good work gets solid pay.
19 Take your stand with God's loyal community and live, or chase after phantoms of evil and die.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved.